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Israel at War – ESRA’s Response

October 7, 2023, changed our lives forever. Israel suffered the deadliest attack in the country’s history and war now rages. When an emergency strikes, and this one is unprecedented, civil society takes action, and ESRA, Home of English Speakers in Israel, was among the first.  We are devoting our resources to assist families in crisis, in this time of war, where it is most needed, in many cases with the basics of daily life. To this end, ESRA’s Welfare Fund launched an Emergency Campaign, amongst our members, donors, friends and partners in Israel and overseas, enabling us to immediately take on the following projects for those affected by the varied aspects of the war.


Emergency Financial First Aid

One-time grants of NIS 2,000-3,000, within 72 hours of application, by direct deposit to the bank accounts of families and victims of terror attacks, those taken hostage and evacuees from Israel’s northern and southern border areas. Most recipients are directed to us through long-standing relationships with local authorities and the Ministry of Aliya and Integration. There is an existing, efficient and well-oiled process that ESRA has managed for close to 45 years.  We cut through the red tape and lengthy bureaucracy and ensure we can make an immediate impact, to those already suffering enough at this terrible time in Israel!


English-language Emotional Support and Personal Resilience Training

bulletgray Individual sessions with social workers, either online or in person

bulletgray Support groups facilitated by social workers, for parents of IDF soldiers, children and adolescents

bulletgray Acquisition of strategies for coping with anger and anxiety for teenagers, adolescents, parents and special education, see here

bulletgray ESRA Befrienders, trained volunteers assist seniors in dealing with the realities of war, in person or by telephone 


Making Information Accessible in English

bulletgray 24/7 emergency initial response hotline for Olim and evacuees

bulletgray Meetings and explanatory sessions with officials and professionals from varied essential Israeli institutions, The Homefront Command and more, see here


Daily Events in English

bulletgray Daily Zoom social, cultural and educational events and activities for the whole family, by leading lecturers in an eclectic range of topics and fields, see here

bulletgray Volunteering across the board of Israeli community and society, e.g. preparing packages for evacuees and soldiers, hosting families, pro-Israel advocacy work, knitting circles, making and providing essential items for soldiers and much more, see here.


Educational Reinforcement and Social / Emotional Aid

ESRA’s English Tutoring Program, in Partnership with the Ministry of Education, adapted quickly to the needs of the war.

With over 1,000 active volunteer montors in various programs;

In-person sessions with students and tutors who come to evacuees’ hotels and temporary centers to tutor English for grades 4-12, following the Ministry of Education curriculum, and additionally facilitating enrichment and social activities and improving oral proficiency in English for middle and high school students. Online ESRA Chat Away adapted to the changing circumstances of the war. ESRA TOPS on Zoom for English learners, curriculum based for grades 4-9, once or twice a week, anywhere in the country.


The lives we have touched since October 7th, 2023

  • 580,000 NIS has been given as Emergency Financial First Aid to 280 families of war victims (received within 72 hours)
  • 17,200 English speakers have benefited from ESRA free services and activities
  • 1,000+ ESRA Volunteers have been aiding the immediate needs of families directly affected, including educators in evacuee centers
  • 7,300 have been beneficiaries of our Personal Support Services which include;
    • Counseling and Support Circles for individuals and families with social workers and trained volunteers
    • Strengthening Resilience workshops for teens and adults by professionals
    • Friendship Service offering support and help with day-to-day needs by trained volunteers
    • Explanatory sessions with officials and professionals
    • Reach out calls to understand the needs and direct individuals to the relevant sources
  • 60 Daily Events with over 8,000 Participants, presented by top lecturers and leading professionals

Together we win.

Sunny Marshansky, ESRA CEO

ESRA סאני מרשנסקי, מנכ"לית עמותת